Cast: Sam Keeley, Miranda Raison, Daniella Kertesz, Elarica Gallacher, Lorna Nickson Brown
Running Time: 88 minutes.
Another example of the single location film, AfterDeath manages to make the most of it’s lone setting environment, offering the audience something completely different to what they are used to. AfterDeath has one heck of a hook in it’s log line, ‘five people wake up dead’; the story follows what happens to the group after they have awakened.
Our group of strangers find themselves trapped in a small cottage, just off of the coast, in the middle of nowhere. The only landmark remotely close by is a lighthouse who’s light has an unsettling effect on them. The barrenness of their surroundings means that they have no choice but to work together to find a way out of their present situation.
Of course this being a film the group consists of various personality types who are all dealing with the reality that they may very well be dead in different ways, leading to lots of conflict. The small cast of five work well together and given the solo location you can’t help but feel you are watching a stage production as opposed to a film.
Gore hounds and action seekers might find themselves wanting after the opening moments as AfterDeath is a story that relies on talking and conversation to drive the narrative forwards. I’m afraid there are no severed heads or cat and mouse chases here. There are however, some interesting philosophical ideas about the self as well as the afterlife and its inner workings. Thankfully it isn’t just a load of talking heads as the group is being stalked by a malevolent black smoke; fans of Lost and Supernatural might be able to guess it’s true nature.
Given its stance on what comes after we depart the Earth AfterDeath will encourage friendly debate and analysis after viewing. You don’t get that from your average horror film.
It is also yet another of the films that screened at this year’s Frightfest which throws women into the spotlight. Out of the five cast members four are female, and despite some initial bitchiness and falling out, for once we have a group of women on film who can actually get along. Each lady also has her own brand of strength and they don’t need the one and only male to save them, these sisters are doing it for themselves.
Overall AfterDeath feels part thriller, part science fiction, with a few horror tropes sprinkled on top to create a sinister atmosphere. In all honesty it could probably do with being a tad shorter as there is just a smidgen too much talking in places. It’s a puzzle of a movie that heavily encourages audience participation and rewards with an interesting, if not rather bleak, look beyond the veil.
See what awaits us when AfterDeath is released on digital via Frightfest Presents on 19th October. Own it on DVD from 18th April.